Lignum Vitae – Tree of Life
Abstract:“…nothing is so much wanted and desired at sea, as the discovery of the longitude,
for the safety and quickness of voyages, the preservation of ships, and the lives of men…”
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Lignum Vitae owes its inspiration to the discovery of 17thCentury Clockmaker John Harrison who used Lignum Vitae in the
intricate workings of sea clocks (marine chronometers), as the wood is exceptionally hard and resistant to corrosion in sea air.
Inspired by Harrison’s innovative use of materials we blend unexpected notes to produce a multifaceted and intriguing fragrance.
Hot, metallic aspects are emphasised alluding to Lignum Vitae’s nickname of ‘Iron Wood’; the characteristic citrus, peppery scent of the Lignum Vitae itself and heavy emphasis was placed on the salt air which caused brass marine chronometers to seize.
Lignum Vitae also forms part of BeauFort London’s product development. Working with architectural designer Robert Steer and company (whose workshop in a boatyard on the River Thames became a regular haunt at the brand’s genesis) the prototypes of the distinctive wooden caps were hand cut from this exotic hardwood. It was found that when sawn the exceptionally dense wood released an evocative ‘cakey’ aroma. This unusual ‘workshop’ smell and the Proustian suggestion of Madelaines and childhood memories was duly emphasised in the fragrances construction.
The perfume was designed both as a symbolic representation of the intricate workings of Harrison’s time machines, but also as a suggestion of the power of scent to transport us through time. Perfumer Julie Marlowe was tasked with combining these enigmatic aspects in an unexpected and intriguing way.